Saturday, May 11, 2013
Royal bolsters 2014 GMU frontcourt
By Nic Reiner
UPDATE: Former Georgia Tech forward Julian Royal will transfer to George Mason and will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2013-14 season. The connection to current Patriots head coach Paul Hewitt, who recruited Royal to Georgia Tech in 2011, was strong enough to lure the former ESPN top 100 recruit to GMU.
It will be interesting to see how successful Royal is as a Patriot. He didn't register much playing time in his second year at GT, though he did play 16 minutes per game as a freshman. Playing at the mid-major level might allow Royal to cause more problems inside and one imagines the Patriots will lean more heavily on him than the Yellow Jackets did. Overall, it's a big get for Mason, even if he hasn't yet lived up to the billing he earned coming out of high school.
Georgia Tech transfer Julian Royal, a rising junior forward, has narrowed his list to Vanderbilt and George Mason, both of whom he has now visited officially. Neither school seems to have a decisive lead for Royal. However, we have to think the rumblings about rising sophomore forward Sheldon Jeter's departure from the Commodores program might give Vandy the upper hand.
Royal's minutes were cut by more than half at GT in 2012-13 (6.6 MPG last season) and the forward might find a better fit in Nashville. If the whispers about Jeter leaving Vanderbilt are true, that means there's more time and space that Royal can earn when he becomes eligible in 2014-15. His freshman year at Georgia Tech was much more indicative of his capabilities, where his shooting percentages and involvement in the offense were much more than they were in his second year.
Mason obviously has a unique connection with Royal in that current coach Paul Hewitt recruited Royal to Georgia Tech before he was fired from the school in 2011. Reuniting with Hewitt in a Patriot uniform is obviously enticing and the rapport there could lead to more playing time and synergy for Royal.